Career Definition for a Gynecologist Assistant
Gynecologist assistants perform various patient care and administrative tasks for medical staffs that specialize in women's health issues in medical offices, clinics, and hospitals where obstetrics and gynecology are practiced. They record patient histories and vital signs, collect blood and urine samples, conduct various diagnostic tests, administer medication, and perform clerical duties, such as ordering supplies and processing insurance information. Many are trained medical assistants (MAs), but some gynecologist assistants pursue additional education to become physician assistants (PAs).
Certified PAs often work under a doctor's direct supervision; however, they may also work independently, performing exams and other functions allowed by various state regulations. As PAs assume more patient care responsibilities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a strong increase in PA job opportunities, especially in rural and urban clinics with small physician staffs.
|Education||Associate degree required|
|Certification and Licensing||Credentials through the American Association of Medical Assistants, state licenses and other certification available|
|Job Skills||Transcription, record keeping, communication, understanding of medical equipment|
|Median Salary (2015)||$30,590 for medical assistants, $98,180 for physician assistants|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||23% for medical assistants, 30% for physician assistants|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Many gynecologist assistant jobs require a 2-year associate's degree in medical assisting. Physician assistants employed as gynecologist assistants generally have a bachelor's degree and must also complete an accredited 2-year PA program; the American Academy of Physician Assistants offers information about accredited PA programs in the U.S. (www.aapa.org).
Certification and Licensing
Gynecologist assistants who complete a medical assisting program may qualify for Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credentialing offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants. Basic Life Support and CPR certification is also required by many employers. Physician assistants who work as gynecologist assistants must pass a national certification exam and obtain state licensure.
Gynecologist assistants understand medical procedures and terminology related to women's health care and have a thorough understanding of the medical equipment used for diagnostics and treatment. Gynecologist assistants with front office responsibilities must have strong word processing, data entry, record keeping, and transcription skills. They must also be familiar with coding procedures and insurance processing. Good communication skills and the ability to interact with patients, medical staff, and coworkers in a fast-paced environment are essential. Bilingual job candidates may have a competitive edge in many job markets.
Economic Outlook and Financial Forecast
Aspiring gynecologist assistants should benefit from the very strong growth expected in the health care industry over the 2014-2024 period. The BLS predicts 23% job growth for medical assistants and 30% growth for physician assistants across medical specialties from 2014-2024. The BLS reports that medical assistants earned an annual median salary of $30,590 in May 2015; in the same year, physician assistants earned an annual median salary of $98,180.
Alternative Career Options
Check out these other careers in women's health and medical assistance:
A nurse midwife is an advanced practice nurse who is trained and capable of providing primary and obstetric care to healthy women. Some responsibilities of nurse midwives are regulated by states, and nurse midwives may work with physicians or independently. A nurse midwife must first become a registered nurse (RN); this requires a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree and a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. A master's degree in nursing is required for an entry-level job as a nurse midwife; some programs have special bridge options for RN applicants who come into the program with a diploma or associate's degree. Some states require an additional advance practice nursing license and professional certification. The BLS reports that nurse midwives can expect job growth of 25% from 2014-2024, and that nurse midwives earned median pay of $92,510 in 2015.
Medical Records and Health Information Technician
A medical records and health information technician maintains patients' health care records; he or she is usually responsible for the accuracy of the records and ensuring that they're stored securely and organized in such a way that it's easy to locate needed files. Medical records and health information technicians can specialize as medical coders or cancer registrars. Many have completed a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree program; voluntary professional certification is also available. These jobs are estimated to increase 15% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. People working in this field earned median pay of $37,110 in 2015.